- 10 GCC employees detained over property fraud
- Officers accused of conniving with foreign nationals in land allocation
Law enforcement agencies have detained close to 10 employees of Gaborone City Council (GCC) in relation to ongoing investigations into property fraud involving collusion with a cartel of Nigerians and Zimbabweans, as well as tax evasion in the city.
While their names are yet to be made public, the detained officers are understood to be stationed in the Departments of Physical Planning, Land Inspection and Land Allocations.
DCEC has confimed the investigation in which certain law firms have been raided and documents seized.
Informed sources have told The Botswana Gazette that the officers are being detained and questioned in connection with how a cartel made up of five Nigerians and two Zimbabweans owned and sold more than 150 plots in Gaborone.
The officers are believed to have aided and abetted the cartel in securing the plots.
“A number of officers have been detained in connection with ongoing property fraud investigations,” said one inside source.
“We recently questioned some foreign nationals. They own and sell properties in Block 5, Block 6, Block 7, Block 8, Tsholofelo, Phakalane and Gaborone North.”
Suspicious bank transactions
Sources say investigations have so far unearthed suspicious bank transactions associated with the cartel found. Millions of pula are reported to have been transferred to bank accounts in Nigeria, Zimbabwe and the UK.
“BURS is also investigating possible tax evasion,” another source said. Investigations show that millions were shipped in and out of the country through accounts linked to the cartel. Some of the funds might have been laundered through trust funds.”
The investigating task force, which is made up of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS), the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime and BURS recently seized files from a number of attorneys.
Matlala law firm, Moyo Legal Practice and MK Moesi Attorneys are among law firms from which documents have allegedly been seized in connection to the same investigations.
The Director General of DCEC, Tshepo Pilane, has confirmed the raids and that they were related to investigations into corruption and money laundering.
It is believed that the combined task force will carry out a countrywide investigation into property fraud over the next six months.